Thanks for visiting my blog.

I'm posting my photos, poems and other writings here, along with news about my readings and publications.

I also plan to make available the sound files of my radio show, Across the Borderline, which has aired for six years on WBCR-lp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Stay tuned,

Phil Johnson

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In one of her workshops Bernadette told us to write a poem about nothing. So I wrote this—




They’re having a pow-wow in Poway. While David Byrnes

his britches behind him, sits out on a limb,

brewing coffee thru conical filters,

random driplets, splash arrays, operations?


The lonesome cowpoke clutched his bedroll,

wishing real hard

it was a woman. Only make believe,

he humped as he sang—a humpback whale

beached on low topographical relief.

You get so alone (thank you, Buk)

at night on the prairie

even the prairie dogs

get scary.


He blundered into a clearing where the brush was cut back—

there he was, facing his wife. He spun back around

quick like, into the forest

looking for the grizzly who was chasing him.


Hare Krishna, I follow the Mishna into the Tora Bora caves.

Make mine Michelangelo. Lying on his back

under the beamer, maneuvering

on a three wheeled creeper,

he was touched by the Divine Creator,

the differential in his greasy hands.


This poem ends here. We’ve reached the end time,

end of the line on this train to the sublime

boneyard. Aliens are fallen angels,

ancient progenitors, breathing

our history. Believe this bright lie,

and the radiant antichrist

shines like a searchlight

from his luminous throne

in the windshield sky.

© 2007 Phil Johnson


Bernadette looked at it and said, “That’s not about nothing.” She told me to go back and do it again. So I splattered the first poem against the wall, and I put the pieces back together. This is the result—


Sublime Boneyard

Aliens are fallen Michelangelos, they shine in the brush.

Lonely cowboy at night on his bedroll, wishing real hard it was all rolled back and he was facing Phoenix.

You get so alone, lonesome cowpoke (thank you, Buk). Maneuvers on his back, under the beamer, luminous throne, bright flotations.

So alone (thank you bright lie). Aliens are falling angels. Ancient progenitors, breathing in celestial realms. Only make believe, at the end of the prairie, chance events, operations, only make no sense, spun back like fictions.

I’ll show you operations. See the difference in his bright lie. And the captain says: I can sail it.

I’m sucking this scary shiver me timbers, random drops above the prairie, even the tailing plane? goes down my chest.

Scatter this sand where the ship falls searching for prairie dogs, scars down a cactus. Shunt shines like a searchlight.

Flash flood, follow this flight to the end time, end time. Dial the Divine space line.

Then the crash, luminous three where we smash arrays, quick like, sucking light out a cactus. Into the clearing—Krishna, Krishna.

Boots on, he blunders into the radiant. The lonesome cowpoke ends, clutching flotation. We’ve reached his bright see-through desert.

We beached his britches behind him, sitting on history. Bequeath his bedroll to the humpback whale, wishing away, facing the differential, facing the phosphorescent throne.

The lonesome cowpoke clutching his bedroll falling from poem ends here. We’ve reached the bright lie, and a straw. Roll out the three wheeled creeper.

Hare Krishna to the brush he cleared.

Hare Krishna to the windshield sky.

© 2007 Phil Johnson

No comments:

Post a Comment